May 14, 1960 – December 29, 2009
We always talk about the angles up in heaven, and how they are there watching and guiding us. We always look up into the sky when we talk about angles and their work. The truth is the real angles are here on earth walking amongst us. They are the ones that were placed on earth to guide us and help us through our stay. Doc was an angle of this earth and only those who he has touched can truly understand what I am about to say. Docs work here is done and now God has rewarded him with peace and eternal rest.
I did not have the pleasure of knowing him when he was an adolescent, a great football player, or an amazing wrestler. I met Doc many years later after he retired and I had left the business and started Wrestlers Rescue. I started to receive these emails and letter in my mailbox from a young lady named Melonie. She wrote to me religiously begging me to find away to help Steve receive a hands free voice box. Her mail and emails haunted me. I could not get them out of my head. One night at about 4am in the morning I was lying in bed and I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t know why but I just seemed too preoccupied to relax enough to fall off to sleep. Finally, out of nowhere it all came clear. I realized that I was supposed to do something with the letters. I can remember that night. It was just one of those nights that seemed like so many others. But today I remember it as if it were just last night. I remember texting my friend and right hand person with Wrestlers Rescue Marty “Are you awake?” He instantly answered “yes I can’t sleep”. How ironic right? I started to tell him of these letters I was receiving from Melonie and how I can’t seem to get them out of my head. I then told him I’m supposed to do something with this. I am being told do something! We continued to talk and we came up with the 1st draft to the Dr. Death Campaign. By this time it was about 7am and I knew I couldn’t call this stranger that early in the morning to tell him of the plans we had just come up with. Finally, it was late enough in the morning to call and I did. I remember this raspy voice answering and saying “hello”. I then introduced myself and told him of the foundation and what we would like to try and do to help him. Little did I know that this was going to be about how he was going to help me. As the days followed I started to learn about him. You see I had only met him once in my career and it was at an appearance in NJ. That day I walked over to him and introduced myself, handed him my card and explained briefly what the foundation was about. I believe the foundation was only a few months old at that time. He placed his thumb over his stoma and said sweetheart it was a pleasure to meet you. He followed with digging into a bag he had on the cafeteria table with the rest of his stuff and pulled out a card for me and said “Sweetheart …if ever anything I can do for you” and placed it in my hand. I then peered down at his card and it was peaceful it had this giant hand absorbing a beam of light. I never saw a card like this but it looked like a safe place to be. Again, not knowing this man was going to be carrying me in his giant hand and showing me the light one day.
I started to call wrestlers from his era and started to inform them who I was and what Wrestlers Rescue was trying to do for their friend and fellow worker. By the time I had finished my conversations, I had realized they all had a common thread. They all gushed about what a great man he was, what a tremendous worker he was, how respected he was, how people looked up to him and were so proud of him on how he faced Cancer and won. I used the word faced because I feel after talking to those people CANCER didn’t have a fighting chance. By the end of the month and hearing multiple stories that all sounded like the first I had to called Steve right away. I remember I was driving down the highway in my car and I called.
I started our conversation by telling him, “Doc…. I have never ever heard so many nice stories about one human being in my entire life or about anyone in this crazy business of ours”. I said “usually you bring up someone’s name and you either get a great story or you get there ok”. Of Which the OK means they don’t care for you and would probably say worst if the wrestling world wasn’t so political. I proceeded to tell him how much everyone loved him and that people just gushed over him whenever his name came up and that I felt like I have known him for years. I also told him “I feel like I was right there with you throughout your career I have heard so much”. He was so happy he even began to cry a bit. He was so overwhelmed that people felt that way about him. I think it was so overwhelming to him because he never thought what he did or how he interacted with people was anything special. He was just himself without motive; no reason other than he was a genuine person and human being. He treated others better than he probably expected other to treat him. I am so happy I took the time to tell him that day because he was such a humble person I don’t think he would have realized how so many people loved him, respected him and looked up to him. Through this period of time I spent with Steve I learned to love the business again. He showed me why I started in the first place. He gave me my business back. This business is usually only given to someone once if they are lucky enough. This is when we are learning and striving to become someone great. The veterans of the business chose you and take their time to give you there knowledge to help you achieve what is in your heart. The first time I was given this business it was from Jimmy Snuka. He took the time to teach me his love for his business. Somewhere along the way I got lost and lost it. Through working with Doc I found that love for the business and the people in it again.
Recently, God directed him back to me to teach me my final lesson. He had an appearance here in NJ again, where I live and that I also happened to be appearing on. This was only the second appearance in my career we ever crossed paths. The first was where we met and the second was our good-bye. I just didn’t know it yet. We made plans to spend some time together while he was here. We talked about him coming to my home and meeting my children. But as usual, life got in the way and I was called off to work somewhere else immediately after the show so I had to rush off. We never did get together and he never had the chance to meet my babies or as he use to call them blessings when we talked about them in our many conversations throughout the campaign. That day came and went and with the hustle and bustle of the day I only had moments with him. Had only I known they would be my last. I feel that the last lesson I needed to learn from him was to slow down, live in the moment and enjoy your blessings! Doc, you were my angle. It is pretty ironic because you use to call me angel and never Dawn and I know in many interviews you also referred to me as that. But the truth was you were mine.…I not yours. You taught me many of life’s lessons in our too short relationship. I hope one day when my jobs here on this Earth are done, you will be one of the set of eyes there welcoming me and telling me thank you for hearing me and enjoying your life.